YOUNG VOICES: Don't let media distort women's sense of worth

2014-01-13T00:00:00Z 2014-05-16T17:18:17Z YOUNG VOICES: Don't let media distort women's sense of worthBy Samantha Gross nwitimes.com
January 13, 2014 12:00 am  • 

After recently viewing "Miss Representation," a documentary by Jennifer Newsom that reveals the under-representation of women in positions of power, I have become more motivated than ever to work my way up to an influential position in the world of journalism. 

As we start a new chapter in 2014, I strongly believe this must be the year things change significantly in the way females are represented in the media.

My choice to delve into journalism as a career is terrifying in the sense that media today have taken a toxic turn for the cheap, stooping low and devaluing content because "sex sells."

It's disturbing to see the media continue to hold a narrow and disparaging representation of women, discouraging women from achieving leadership positions and feeling empowered.

It's scary to enter a world of media dominated by older white men who continue to hold backward judgments about successful women in the workplace and practice everyday injustices created by gender stereotypes.

But I'm not scared. 

As a future journalist, I believe my generation has the power not only to help change the role of women in the media, but also to change the media's persuasive force that broadcasts to young people that a women’s value lies in her youth, beauty and sexuality, and not in her competence as a leader. I want young people to know who they are before the media tells them who they should be.

While women have made great strides in leadership over the past few decades, the United States is still 90th in the world for women in national legislatures. Women continue to make 77 cents for every dollar men make, and women hold only 3 percent of authoritative positions in telecommunications, entertainment, publishing and advertising.

I, like many other young journalists, aspire to work myself into a high position so I can write about topics that will shift consciousness toward change and inspire individuals to fulfill their potentials.

I want to break the glass ceiling that has been set for women because 2014 has to be the year that a new leaf is turned and things change for the better.

Samantha Gross, of Schererville, is a senior at Lake Central High School. The opinions are the writer's.

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